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NAVAJO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ADOPT

"NAVAJO COUNTY CRIME VICTIMS' RIGHTS WEEK" APRIL 6 THRU APRIL 12, 2014


Posted: Feb 25, 2014 By: Brad Carlyon


HOLBROOK, AZ – February 25, 2014 – The Navajo County Board of Supervisors voted today to designate April 6 – 12, 2014 as "National Crime Victims' Rights Week" in advance of the 5th Annual Navajo County Victims' Rights Symposium, for which the County has received a $4,984 national grant.

The annual observance of National Crime Victims' Week brings attention to the range of services and organizations available to help those who have been a victim of a crime. The theme for the 2014 crime victims' week is "30 Years: Restoring the Balance of Justice," highlighting the importance of the Crime Victims Fund (Fund) that was created in 1984 by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). Over the past 30 years, the VOCA Fund has had a profound impact on crime victim services and has resulted in significant expansion and improvement of victim service delivery in America.

Annually, millions, sometimes billions, of dollars are deposited into the Fund from criminal fines, forfeited appearance bonds and special assessments in Federal criminal cases investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and prosecuted by U.S. Attorneys' Offices nationwide. The money in the Fund comes from criminal offenders, not taxpayer dollars. In accordance with Federal law, monies in the Fund are to be used exclusively to support crime victim services.

Federal cases resulting in convictions may require defendants to pay criminal fines and other monetary penalties that go into the Fund, as well as restitution to crime victims. Each U.S. Attorneys' Office has a Financial Litigation Unit that collects all civil and criminal financial obligations owed to the United States, including VOCA, as well as restitution owed to crime victims. From 1985 to 2013, a total of $20.4 billion in non-taxpayer money has been deposited into the Fund.

"Crime Victims' Rights Week serves as an important reminder of the hard work that so many in our communities undertake to aid those who have been victimized by criminal behavior," said Navajo County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jesse Thompson. "The Board is proud to shine a light on those individuals and organizations working in our communities to restore justice for crime victims."

The Navajo County Attorney's Office has received funding from the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators through a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), within the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, to promote community awareness of crime victims' rights and services during 2014 National Crime Victims' Rights Week.

Since 2004, the Crime Victims' Rights Week Community Awareness Project has provided financial and technical assistance to more than 650 community projects that promote victim and public awareness activities, and innovative approaches to victim outreach and public education about victims' rights and services during National Crime Victims' Rights Week. The 5th Annual Navajo County Victims' Rights Symposium was one of the 71 projects recommended by the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators and selected for funding by OVC for 2014 from the 125 applications that were submitted nationwide.

According to OVC Director Joye Frost, the Community Awareness Project helps generate widespread public awareness of crime victims' rights and needs, and the importance of engaging all people in America in victim assistance efforts.

"This year's theme is especially relevant because VOCA is the federal government's main method of supporting critical assistance to victims of all types of crimes. National Crime Victims' Rights Week is our opportunity to support public awareness of crime victims' rights and the critical, often life-saving services provided by thousands of programs across our Nation to help crime victims," Frost said.

"The VOCA Association’s contribution expands the reach of our awareness efforts and allows us to strengthen symposium features," said Navajo County Attorney Brad Carlyon. "Any support that helps us better serve victims is invaluable."

Organizers of the 5th Annual Victims" Rights Symposium, which will be held Friday, April 11 at the Northland Pioneer College campus in Snowflake, have adapted the national theme to locally focus on crimes against children. The theme of the one-day conference is "Restoring the Balance of Justice for Children." The event will bring together local, state and national leaders in the world of children and crime, with a full day of workshops, an awards luncheon and keynote address, youth presentations and performances, and a raffle to raise funds for victims in Navajo County.

"If you have the desire to help children who are at risk or are victims of crime, but haven't known where to start, come to the 2014 Victims' Rights Symposium," said Carlyon. "Our presenters are leaders in these sensitive fields and you'll come away informed and empowered to help, right here, in our Navajo County communities."

The symposium is free of charge and open to the public. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and breakfast and lunch will be provided. This event is COJET, AZPOST and CLE accredited.

Details about the event are available at www.facebook.com/victimssymposium. Online registration is available at: 5thvictimsymposium.eventbrite.com.

The National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators is a non-profit organization that represents the 56 state agencies that distribute funds from the Victims of Crime Act to more than 4,000 direct victim assistance service providers.

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